In case anyone needs a reminder of how dangerous TCPA cases can be, let’s recall the story of Rash Curtis.
The collector was absolutely crushed by a massive TCPA judgment totaling over $267MM entered in April of last year–including the award of $89MM in attorney’s fees.
The class lawyers ended up taking an assignment from Rash Curtis of claims against its insurer and subsequently filed suit alleging bad faith. (The insurer had apparently turned down an $875k demand before the insured was hammered at trial.)
So the Rash Curtis saga is currently living two lives. In one life, Rash Curtis is appealing the judgment entered against it–including the assertion of the critical Creasy argument, that is resulting in stayed TCPA cases. In another life, class counsel is litigating against Rash Curtis’ insurer to recover hundreds of millions of dollars, even though the underlying appeal is yet unsettled.
Well in Perez, Case No. 4:19-cv-07288-YGR, 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 118267 (N.D. Cal. June 24, 2021) the court refused to stay the case against the insurer pending the outcome of the underlying appeal. The Court determined that the judgment is deemed “final” under federal rules, even though the entire thing might be thrown out of court eventually.
More importantly, however, the Court rejected the insurer’s argument that Facebook necessarily unwinds the entirely underlying judgment. But it did give the Defendant a, seemingly, huge win. Apparently class counsel concedes that over $15MM of the judgment is wiped out by Facebook! Nonetheless, the Court found no basis to believe the rest of the judgment would be disturbed by the Facebook ruling.
While the insurer lost the motion to stay this is still a pretty good result. Its not very often you see $15MM wiped off a judgment in a ruling denying a motion to stay but, hey–TCPAWorld, am I right?
In the end, I simply marvel at the concept of a collector owing so much money that a $15MM reduction on a TCPA judgment amounts to a mere 5.8% reduction.
Take this statute seriously folks!
On one other note–notice how Facebook is being applied retroactively to eliminate dollars owed on a final judgment here. Interesting stuff.